Customs-Business Dialogue Urged

Dialogue between customs authorities and business circles is important for the promotion of trade facilitation, says a joint statement issued in Shanghai Tuesday afternoon at the end of the 7th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Customs-Business Dialogue (ACBD).

The statement says that customs and business circles share the common goals of implementing trade facilitation and building up a predictable, low-cost and high-efficiency clearance environment.

Delegates at the dialogue agreed that both governments and society should provide a more regulatory and freer environment for cooperation between business circles in different countries and regions.

They said they hope to strengthen the capability of APEC members in trade facilitation, and to inject new energy for the economic development and common prosperity in this region through promoting trade facilitation.

The statement says customs and business circles should join hands to improve the level of information technology of enterprises, to quicken the pace in the work concerning e-commerce, to build up a set of customs systems suitable for e-commerce and paperless trade, and to speed up e-government construction.

To implement trade facilitation and to build up a strategic partnership, the statement calls on APEC members to have further dialogue and to promote understanding between customs and business circles.

Customs should build up exchange channels with business circles, the statement says, making clear that the emphasis should be laid on information sharing, wide use of information technology and training of human resources.

Delegates agreed that this meeting pushed forward the exchanges and understanding between customs authorities and business circles, promoted the development of a customs-business strategic partnership advocated by the APEC, and reached the planned goals.

The ACBD meeting, which started on August 13, was being jointly hosted by China's General Administration of Customs and the China Council for Promotion of International Trade, and coordinated by the Shanghai Municipal Government.

Chinese State Councilor Wu Yi gave a keynote speech at the ACBD opening ceremony. Over 500 delegates from home and abroad attended the meeting.

(Xinhua News Agency 08/14/2001)

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